Festivals as creative pedagogy

Soseh Yekanians (Presenter), Dominique Sweeney (Presenter), Robert Lewis (Presenter)

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstract


Festival models have been included in Australian curriculums within Creative Arts/Industries Faculties for some time, however, are festivals a sustainable way to allow students to apply their knowledge and skills in real-world contexts? What are the difference between collaborating with external bodies, industries and professionals through festivals, as opposed to students’ mounting their own, and are they authentic industry level skills that students learn if devising and managing their own events? How do educators balance the needs of students and other stakeholders? The question of balance between the product and process is a critical one; the product is a scheduled public event rather than an in-class assessment. Is that public output a motivating factor in the students’ learning, and can educators sacrifice the product if the process is vital to the students’ learning? In all, collaborative festival model within the curriculum gives students real-world experiences that is industry focused while allowing them to learn autonomously within a supportive environment.

This paper discusses the pedagogical practices implemented through festival models produced by two discrete performing arts programs within Charles Sturt University’s School of Communication and Creative Industries. Two festivals are held each year as part of the Acting and Performance and Theatre/Media programmes. The Sprung Festival is a bright, bold and multi-faceted theatre festival created, produced and run by the graduating year of Theatre/Media Students on the Bathurst campus. Sprung Festival creates opportunities for peers and the community and commonly, features between 4-5 original works: including an opening and closing ceremony and 2 events. The shows' vary in style from comedy, musical, physical theatre, interactive and serious drama. The SASS Festival (Stage and Screen Showcase), is a yearly one-act play festival in collaboration with Design for Performance where students collaborate to stage new and established local, national and international plays. Acting students direct their own one-act stage production, from script selection, casting, production, and publicity, while Design students contribute with lighting, set and costume design.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2019
EventThe Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies - University of Tasmania, Launceston, Australia
Duration: 25 Jun 201928 Jun 2019


ConferenceThe Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies
Abbreviated titleFestivals and Performance
Internet address

Grant Number

  • A541.3101.xxxx.30604


Dive into the research topics of 'Festivals as creative pedagogy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this